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Strategy and Diversification

Lewis Group’s strategy is to offer exclusive merchandise to customers across all market segments and income groups in Southern Africa, focusing on the retailing of furniture, home appliances, electronic goods and homewares on credit and cash.

Diversification strategy

The group adopted a strategy to diversify the business and reduce the reliance on credit sales. In 2014, the group acquired the Beares brand with a focus on a higher target market and a higher proportion of cash sales than the traditional retail brands. Beares currently trades out of 127 stores.

In 2017, through acquisition, the group doubled its store base outside of South Africa to 116 stores in Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia. Stores outside South Africa now account for 14.9% of the group’s revenue.

In 2018, the acquisition of cash retailer UFO enabled the Group to target a higher income customer market and increase cash sales. UFO contributed 14.4% of total group sales in the Reporting period. The increase in cash sales from UFO as well as the traditional brands in the Reporting period, resulted in the cash: credit sales mix of 50.9%: 49.1%.

Medium-term growth strategies are developed by executive management and reviewed and approved by the board. These growth strategies are developed by considering internal and external factors, risks and opportunities, resources and relationships, and key interdependencies. The strategy is further supported by detailed business plans and budgets, information technology solutions, human capital requirements and operational policies and procedures. Medium-term targets are determined to measure the Group’s progress in the implementation of its strategies.

Material issues and risks that could impact on the group’s strategy, its stakeholders and its ability to sustain growth are reviewed on a continuous basis as part of the strategic planning process (refer to Material Issues and Risks Report). Action plans are developed to achieve the strategic objectives and also to manage the material impacts on the group.

Strategic focus areas, performance indicators and targets